Authorities urge the public to play it safe with fireworks

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ST. LOUIS (KTVI) - It's what many look forward to most on the 4th of July, fireworks. But setting them off in your own backyard rather than going to watch a professional fireworks display, not only could cause serious injuries but could get you in trouble with the law.

Melanie moon is at our new FOX2 St. Charles County bureau inside the Family Arena with the rules and regulations.

There's a lot of confusion when it comes to fireworks in St. Charles County, because they are legal in some parts of the county but not others. Even where fireworks are legal, there are still lots of regulations you need to be aware of.

Fair St. Louis always features some of the best fireworks in St. Louis on the fourth of July.

Some prefer, though, to have their own fireworks show at home.

But keep this in mind it’s against the law in St. Louis city and county.

Chief Dennis Jenkerson: “Everyone here's them now, south city, north city, the west end, and downtown. They are illegal”.

Fireworks are also banned in all St. Charles cities including St. Peters.

But there are some exceptions.

Melissa Doss/St. Peters Police Department: We have parcels of land that do not belong to us they belong to unincorporated St. Charles County and in St. Charles County they do allow the sale and purchase of fireworks for a short period of time and they think they get confused and they think they are in St. Peter's but they are not.

If you can use fireworks where you live there are some state regulations you have to follow:

You can't light them within 300 feet of a gas station.

You can't set them off within 600 feet of a church, hospital or school and you can't throw fireworks from a moving car or boat or near a person.

Last year nationwide there were nearly 12,000 injuries to children from fireworks.

Chief Dennis Jenkerson says even a sparkler can cause serious burns.

Chief Jenkerson/STL Fire Chief:  The firefighter here is holding a blow torch lighting some sparklers... you wouldn't hand your child a blow torch to play with so why would you hand them a sparkler. It’s burning at almost the same temperature, about 2,000 degrees, hot enough to cut glass.

Jenkerson says most of those fireworks injuries were burns to the face, the hands and the eyes.

Jenkerson also says 50 percent of fires over the 4th of July holiday are caused by fireworks.